Florida Georgia Line Fire Back After Charlie Robison Slams Sony Music Nashville CEO, Country Radio
When Sony Music Nashville CEO Gary Overton made some startling comments about country radio, it got independent country artists talking. But now that Nashville songwriter Charlie Robison joined the conversation and blasted Florida Georgia Line in the process, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are speaking out.
It all started when Overton told The Tennessean, "If you're not on country radio, you don't exist." That comment, published on Feb. 22, riled up several independent artists, including Aaron Watson, who responded, “My name is Aaron Watson. I’m not played on country radio. And I have the No. 1 record in country music this week. I do exist."
Then, Robison -- who happens to be the ex-husband of former Dixie Chicks member Emily Robison -- shared his thoughts in a Facebook post, which is where the smoldering turned into a real fire. While his words were intended for Overton, they unfortunately jabbed at FGL in a major way.
"I was signed by Warner Bros. and Sony during the days I had the patience to smile while ignorant pencil-pushing, mullet-headed expense account rapists like you ran those labels," Robison writes. "I don't know Aaron Watson well, but I do know you well, though I've never met you. What I know about you is so sad. I spent so many years in Nashville watching you ignorant wastes of space sit behind your big desk and act like me and all the the Texas/red dirt artists don't exist.
"Well Mr. 'I have a job today, but as soon as Florida Georgia Line goes out of style, and believe me dumbass they will, you will not exist,'" he continues, "saying that music does not exist unless it's on the radio is like saying you don't exist because you never got laid until you got your two-week job as the head of Walmart Records ..."
Robison goes on to name-check other country stars and well-known artists such as Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Pablo Picasso and more, and concludes by telling Overton that people won't remember him and will pass by his tombstone asking, "Who the f--k was that?" while Robison's legacy (and that of other "non-existent artists") will live on.
Hubbard and Kelley had stayed mum about the controversy, but once Robison mentioned them in his rant, the duo tweeted their thoughts.
They followed their first message by saying, "May we never live in bitterness towards the ever evolving genre that's been so good to us."
Robison tried to keep the fire going by asking, “But I don't exist. How can you lose respect?" but FGL did not respond.
Other than the fact that Florida Georgia Liine have been heating up radio for quite some time now, it's not particularly clear why Robison chose to focus on them in his rant. The duo recently nabbed their sixth No. 1 with "Sun Daze" and have announced that they've selected their next single, "Sippin' on Fire."
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